Mexican Street Corn Salad

Occasionally, I hear people say that they don’t care for leftovers.  The first thing that enters my mind is that their job of getting dinner on the table every night is undoubtedly harder than it is for those of us who embrace the extras.  Then I think about all of the delicious things that really do improve with age.  They might not know what they’re missing!  

Chicken and corn on the cob are two items I almost always stretch into a second meal.  Some of my friends tell me that they never have leftovers, to which I say, buy a little more!  And then set aside what you need for the next night to ensure your plan doesn’t go awry.  

Many frequent readers of this blog have enjoyed my fresh-tasting recipe for Corn and Cucumber Salad with Basil and Chives.  It’s an oldie-but-goodie that can be whipped up in minutes and is always a hit with company.  Lately, we can’t get enough of my spin on Elote, otherwise know as Mexican Street Corn.  It’s popular street food in Mexico that is typically served on a stick and topped with condiments including mayo or Mexican crema, lime juice, chili powder, and grated cotija cheese–a dry, salty cheese similar to feta.  

For a quick and easy side dish that really satisfies, I turn that leftover corn into a wholesome Mexican street corn salad.   We eat this often in the summer months, although frozen corn offers a worthy stand-in for fresh when an out-of-season craving hits.  The salad’s bright flavor makes it a true standout, and the simple addition of chicken or shrimp (again, leftover is fine–try black beans and/or chopped avocado for a vegetarian option) and perhaps some sliced, vine-ripened tomatoes, creates a complete meal that completely redefines the leftovers.   

The last time I made this salad, I had invited a neighbor for dinner, and I ran a side-by-side taste test with a new-to-me mayonnaise made by Tessemae’s.  I’m a diehard mayo fan, although I try to limit my consumption given its less than wholesome nutritional profile.  I tend to be skeptical about healthier versions, because I’ve eaten the same brand since I started eating cheese and mayo sandwiches as a very young girl.  (Seriously, that was my school lunch for YEARS!)  

At first glance, Tessemae’s version looked a little smoother in texture and ever-so-slightly thinner in consistency than the mayo I grew up eating.  The taste was mildly different but quite good.  The taste test pitted Tessemae’s mayo against a name brand standard.  When I ultimately confused the samples and nobody could tell the difference, I figured I had my answer.  

I am very careful about recommending products–I am choosy where my readers are concerned and do so only with products I genuinely use and feel good about serving my family.  Since I often hear from readers who would like a healthier mayonnaise that doesn’t sacrifice taste, I though this was worth a mention.  If you try, feel free to report back!

Mexican Street Corn Salad
Yield: 6-8 side dish servings
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  1. 4 ears of corn, grilled or steamed* (3 cups or 15 ounces kernels)
  2. 1 red bell pepper (1 cup), seeded and chopped so the pieces are about the same size as corn kernels
  3. 1/2 cup (2 ounces) crumbled feta cheese (may use cotija cheese if available)
  4. 1/4 cup (lightly packed) chopped fresh cilantro (may substitute fresh parsley)
  5. 2 green onions, sliced (could substitute 1/4 cup minced red onion)
  6. 1/4 cup (52 grams) mayonnaise (For a healthier, all-natural option, you might like Tessemae's mayo)
  7. 2 tablespoons (30 ml) freshly squeezed lime juice
  8. 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  9. Optional add-ins: chopped avocado; a cup or so of black beans, additional cilantro or parsley to taste; a handful of halved cherry or grape tomatoes, a few slices of cooked and crumbled bacon
  1. Slice the cooked corn off the cobs, and add to a large bowl along with the red pepper, feta, cilantro, and onions.
  2. In a small bowl, mix the mayonnaise, lime juice and chili powder. (The mayo mixture may be prepared well in advance and refrigerated until ready to use.) Pour over the corn mixture and toss to evenly distribute.
  3. The salad may be served right away, although the flavors will improve after a few hours in the fridge. Leftovers are delicious, too.
  1. You may use frozen and thawed when fresh isn’t available. In season, I often make extra corn on the cob, and then cool and refrigerate it to make this salad especially easy to prepare another night. For a slightly different flavor—and to perk up thawed, frozen corn--you can sear the corn in an oiled skillet over medium-high heat until the corn is lightly browned.
  2. Feel free to add salt and pepper to taste. I omit the salt because the feta provides a hint of saltiness but often add several turns of the pepper mill.
The Fountain Avenue Kitchen
Mexican Street Corn SaladI have made this salad many times for family, friends and neighbors and it receives consistently glowing reviews. The flavor improves over time as the tangy lime juice mellows and contributes a bright taste that is  memorable yet not overwhelming.Mexican Street Corn Salad


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  1. Steph Post author

    Since falling in love with your corn and cucumber salad, I now always make extra corn on the cob and put it aside to cool right away so no one takes it! Looking forward to adding this salad to the repertoire of easy but delicious recipes. Thank you! Will look out for the new mayo option, too.

    1. Ann Post author

      So glad you’re a fan of the corn and cucumber recipe, Steph. I think you’ll enjoy this one, too! 🙂

  2. Mary Lou Keller

    YUM! Another recipe I will put on my must make list Ann! I love Mexican street corn, there is a restaurant we frequent near my office that serves street tacos and the street corn.

    I have bought corn twice from Farmer’s markets recently, but it was not good and had NO taste. So disappointed. I am going to find some good corn and make this. I also want to make the corn and cucumber salad, that was quite delish when I made it last year.

    Take care Ann! Will let you know when I try this.

    1. Ann Post author

      Here’s hoping for flavorful corn the next time around. The season is short enough that it should be good! I bet those tacos are wonderful, and I hope you think this salad is equally so!

      1. Mary Lou Keller

        I got some corn last night, and plan to fix it tonight.. I might just cook it to make this salad with. Now I want to look for this mayonnaise! According to the website, the Kroger where I shop should have it.

        I will be sure to report back to let you know!

  3. Mary Lou Keller

    WOW!! Four thumbs up from me and my husband! If we had more thumbs, they would be up too!! Absolutely love this one Ann, can’t wait to make it again.

  4. Ann from Sumptuous Spoonfuls

    Ann, I am dying to try this salad! I can’t wait until we have fresh sweet corn from the field to make it. And I am SO with you on the leftovers. They make things so much easier. I think people who hate leftovers haven’t learned how to transform them into something entirely different. I am forever repurposing almost everything I make.

    1. Ann Post author

      I hope you like it as much as we do, Ann. Always good to have another way to stretch and recreate the extras! 🙂

  5. Carolyn S.

    This is delicious, just made it with fresh corn. What a refreshing twist the dressing brings. Just popped in in the frig and it can only get better by dinner time. Thanks, Ann.

    1. Ann Post author

      I agree, Carolyn, the dressing adds a little something special. So glad you like and hope it’s a hit at dinner!

    1. Ann Post author

      I like how the lime cuts the mayo and adds a little something extra, too. I’m happy that you enjoyed it!